cover image Our Fort

Our Fort

Marie Dorléans, trans. from the French by Alyson Waters. New York Review Children’s Collection, $19.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-68137-658-5

Dorléans (The Night Walk) celebrates the magic of visiting a secret fort—an event that has less to do with the physical fort itself and more with the adventure of having one. In a translation by Waters (My Valley) that captures friendly dialogue, the story follows three pink-skinned children with straight black hair as they journey fort-ward in spring. “Hey guys! Want to go to the fort?” “Yes! To the fort!” The long path pictured out the front door of a country house invites the children—and readers—deep into green hills: broad, sweeping oceans of grass and sky are washed with blues and greens; delicate tree leaves are worked in tiny, intricate black lines. Familiar rural childhood experiences—a threatening dog, a flock of sheep, snacks in a field—punctuate the group’s long walk. Suddenly, the sky above darkens, birds flee, and a windstorm strikes, strong enough to knock the children over. When the skies clear and the fort is found undisturbed, their return quickly leads to planning another in this tempestuous meditation on childhood freedom. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)